The first release on NYC based label, Cititrax, is a re-issue of Z-Factor’s “Dance Party Album” (originally released in 1984, 500 copies). Fronted by Jesse Saunders and Vince Lawrence, Z-Factor formed in Chicago in 1982, at the very beginning of the house era. Comes with a retro style band postcard + pressed on heavy vinyl. ESSENTIAL!
Hugely influenced by the Hot Mix 5 radio shows on WBMX, Z-Factor incorporated European synth-driven sounds that they’d heard on the radio with 808 rhythm tracks. This disco: the rhythms, the basslines, the spirit, made by amateurs was to become ‘house’.
Farley Jackmaster Funk recalls the early Chicago scene: ‘We started experimenting, playing with drum machines. Jesse Saunders was on board with me at the Playground at the time, and he was a musician. In the early days, the kick drum and the electric tom-toms of the 808 was enough to make people dance without even putting any music to it. So a lot of the stuff was just beat tracks in the beginning. Then we came to steal everybody’s basslines. See, all we ever did was regurgitate disco again by just stealing everybody’s music. Because all the original house stuff that came out was somebody else’s bassline.’
But when drum and bass patterns once played by skilled musicians were copied on cheap synths that sounded like the real instruments, they didn’t seem old or stolen. Stripped of their songs, these recycled riffs sounded alien and new, like raw, minimal messages transmitted from another world.
It was only a matter of time before tracks started to appear on vinyl, and since Lawrence’s father owned Mitchbal Records, the group had their opportunity to release what is now known as the first full length house album. Nowadays, original copies of the “Dance Party Album” are very rare, and therefore expensive. And so we present to you the reissue of this important record.